The future of operations management: An outlook and analysis

Angappa Gunasekaran, Eric W.T. Ngai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Managing operations in both manufacturing and service organizations have evolved tremendously over the years with the change in market requirements. The market has become global, thereby compelling enterprise operations to keep up. The application of information technology/information systems (IT/IS) and outsourcing in managing operations have significantly altered the landscape of operations management (OM) strategies, techniques, and technologies. Consciousness towards environmental and safety also urges companies to examine their OM approach and manufacturing from various perspectives. Recently, energy cost and protection against terrorism have changed the portfolio of enterprise operations and therefore the approach to OM. Now, it is time to revisit the OM principles, curriculum, and training at the institution of higher learning and industries. Moreover, manufacturing has become more of a service activity, indicating significant service OM, including project management. The profile of service industries has also changed in view of the emergence of globalization, outsourcing, and IT, coupled with the rapid economic growth of emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC). In fact, services account for approximately 80% of the US gross domestic product (GDP); this is also a growing figure of the GDPs of other countries over the world. Again, service OM needs to be revisited in the context of the abovementioned paradigm shifts. In considering the significance of the above-mentioned changes in the market and society as a whole, an attempt is made to study the evolution of OM and subsequently to develop a framework for new OM strategies and tactics that will support the competitiveness of organizations within the next 1020 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-701
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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